Super Bowl 52: Halftime Show 


Kevin Mazur

eDionisio D4s

Leah Cussen, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Opening with his newest single Filthy – released early in January 2018, Justin Timberlake was the headliner of this year’s Super Bowl LII halftime performance.

His first Super Bowl performance was alongside Janet Jackson in 2004, when a wardrobe malfunction turned into what became known as the “Nipplgate” incident. Many viewers speculated that this year, the two would correct the mistakes that occurred in that performance 14 years ago, but the Saturday before, Jackson posted on Instagram, shutting down any rumors of her joining Timberlake by saying: “To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow; I will not.”

Another rumor began spreading – that Timberlake would be honoring the late artist Prince by projecting a hologram of him during the performance. Minneapolis, the city of this year’s Super Bowl, is where Prince was  from, but many found this idea to be controversial.

During the show, Timberlake performed many of his hits, including Rock Your Body, SexyBack and Suit and Tie.

Suddenly, Prince was being projected on the stage as Timberlake sang I Would Die 4 U as a tribute to the late singer and Super Bowl performer in 2007. Though not a hologram, there were many mixed reactions to Timberlake’s decision, as many believed that Prince would have strongly disagreed with it.

Timberlake finished his set with Mirrors and finally Can’t Stop the Feeling, where he was met by a boy trying to take a selfie with him. This boy, now adopted by the internet as a meme, seemed to be the most interesting part of the show, despite the vivid colors and entertaining dances during the show.

For the most part, his performance was not received well by the media. Adults tended to find it disrespectful to Prince and an avoidance of the incident with Jackson. Younger viewers, though they may be somewhat familiar with Timberlake’s music, were not as engaged as they had been with recent performers including Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé.

Junior Varsha Talanki says, “I thought the performance wasn’t very exciting. Justin Timberlake was more popular with the older generations – my brother knew him when he was popular in the early 2000s.”